From white-knuckled fun in theme parks and lazy days on beaches to evenings posing in trendy nightclubs, here's why you should plan a holiday to Florida...
Florida opens its arms to visitors. It boasts some of the largest Hispanic and Latino communities in North America and its tourism industry makes up the largest sector of the state economy. Therefore every effort is made to ensure you'll be charmed by the American's hospitality and bowled over by their manners.
Florida has something for every kind of visitor, whether you're looking for family-focused theme parks, a Kennedy Space Center tour, to explore the many beaches, to take in the vibrant nightlife and movie star glamour, or to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Everglades.
Head down the diner-lined International Drive in Orlando, the gateway to the international theme park capital of the world. This entertainment capital started with Walt Disney's Magical Kingdom and has continued with Universal Studios, SeaWorld and Wet N' Wild, to name but a few. And don't forget to visit the many shopping malls and outlet stores to pick up a bargain.
Formally the destination of choice for local college kids on Spring Break in search of a party, recent years have seen Daytona Beach make efforts to reposition itself as a family-friendly destination. Activity still centres on the 23-mile stretch of white sandy beach with the Sky Ride cable car carrying visitors over to the Main Street Pier. Car and motorcycle enthusiasts are drawn to the area's hard-packed sands and in particular to the 168,000 capacity Daytona International Speedway, home of the great American race, the Daytona 500.
Head to the East coast and visit the exciting streets of Miami. The “Capital of Latin America” keeps itself busy all year round with a steady stream of theatre and music festivals.
The glamorous Art-Deco district of the city boasts a slew of trendy nightclubs, cocktail bars and designer fashion houses. The broad strip lining Miami Beach is a perfect spot to watch the beautiful people mix with the city's residents. It is also the gateway to visiting the steamy green Everglades an alligator-filled, water-logged plain.
North of Miami is the city of Fort Lauderdale. The “Venice of America” is known for its expansive and intricate canal system as well as an abundance of marinas and boat yards. The stylish café-lined walkways appeal to the yachting crowd and a more sophisticated breed of traveller, far removed from the college crowds the city used to attract. Fort Lauderdale Beach offers three miles of perfect sands and a chic shopping and dining scene.
Located in the south eastern tip of the state are the Florida Keys, a 126-mile chain of islands that skirt within ninety miles of Cuba, linked by one straight road, the impressive Overseas Highway. There are fishing, snorkelling and diving opportunities along the route with the Florida Reef being a particular highlight. The run of islands culminates in the town of Key West, a laid-back paradise that thrives on a community of artists, bohemians and tourists all in search of the easy life.
Nestled in the West of Florida is “The Sunshine City” itself, St Petersburg. Popular with tourists for its downtown area and dedicated public waterfront, the St Petersburg Pier is one of the area's prominent landmarks and features sporting events and festivals all year round. Also of note is the city's impressive network of museums housing pieces chronicling the history of the US, the history of the Holocaust and the works of Salvador Dali. You are also in easy reach of the beaches of Clearwater, Tampa, Sarasota and Naples.
If you are planning a trip to Florida this year and need some help, read our fact file below and use TravelSupermarket's search to find the cheapest deals.